Philadelphia Soda Tax Chasing Customers Out of City

A marketing study says Philadelphia's 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on soda and other sweetened drinks is chasing customers out of the city.

The study by Catalina, a Florida marketing firm, showed sales of such drinks at nearly 1,000 franchised grocery and drug stores have fallen 55 percent, while sales at stores studied just outside the city's border rose 38 percent, according to

Catalina says the study wasn't paid for by any soft drink companies, but city officials are skeptical of the data. The tax has raised $39.3 million for pre-kindergarten and other programs it was designed to fund, less than the city's initial projection of $42.6 million.

City spokesman Mike Dunn says Catalina is exaggerating the tax's impact and says it doesn't factor the inconvenience of traveling outside the city to buy the drinks.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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